Georgia House Speaker David Ralston
ATLANTA (AP) - Georgia lawmakers have signed off on a bill that allows employees of utilities to make contributions to political campaigns. The legislation also closes an ethics loophole that exempted lobbyists from disclosing what they spend on gifts to staff members of elected officials.
The House gave the bill final passage Thursday by a 152-9 vote. It now heads to Gov. Nathan Deal.
The ethics watchdog group Common Cause of Georgia praised lawmakers for acting to close the lobbying loophole but doesn't like the provision dealing with utility contributions.
Supporters of the bill say Georgia is the only state in the nation that prohibits utility contributions. Utility employees would still be banned from donating to members of the state Public Service Commission, which regulates utilities.
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